Rally seeks end to abuse Afghans face in Iran
KABUL (Pajhwok): A large number of people on Tuesday staged a protest demonstration in front of the Iranian Embassy in Kabul, calling for an end to ill-treatment of Afghan refugees in the neighbouring country.
The protest began at around 10:30am from the Char Rah-i-Sadarat Square and culminated at 11:30am in front of the Iranian Embassy.
Dozens of people, who took part in the rally, said Afghan refugees in Iran had long been mistreated and their abuses continued and had increased lately.
The protestors issued a statement that said a latest video showed Iranian security officials insulting Afghan refugees and forcing them to bend their heads in respect of them.
They said the clip also showed a school in Iran, where children of Afghan refugees were shamelessly abused by their Iranian teachers.
The statement said banning Afghans in nine provinces of Iran and increasing by three-fold school fee for Afghan children were some of Iran’s violations of Afghan refugees’ rights.
The protestors wrote: “We (protestors, civil society activists and people of Afghanistan) want the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Afghan national unity government and particularly the United Nations to show a strong reaction in this regard.”
They asked the Afghan government to adopt a political approach towards resolving the problems of Afghans in Iran and investigate the latest incidents.
The statement urged the UN to mount pressure on Tehran to investigate the latest incident of mistreatment of Afghans.
Abbas Farazo, a civil society activist who took part in the rally, said Iran daily violated the rights of Afghan refugees. He said the demonstration was aimed at expressing solidarity with Afghan refugees.
Laila Mohammadi, another participant and a Kabul resident, criticised the Afghan government and said it was duty-bound to protect rights of Afghan refugees wherever they lived.
She said Iran had promised it would arrange jobs and vocational trainings for Afghans living there, but the country was yet to honour its pledge and instead trampled on their rights.
Mohammadi asked the unity government to raise the issue through diplomatic channels with Iranian authorities.
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